Common Traits of Broke People
Ok. I'm not great with mon-ay. Never really have been.
And I've identified 7 common attitude flaws toward money that contribute to people not contributing to an IRA or whatever.
Here's some attitudinal issues that might be common to broke people and some stuff I've learned:
1. The 'Will Be Rich One Day' Attitude: This attitude might prevent some from saving money because they assume they will not need the money down the road-- because down the road they will be rich. And 'whatevery savings' that can be had now will be unnecessary totally. In fact, being responsible about savings now is in a roundabout way admitting you are a doubting 'the dream'-- which is a negative attitude. Thus the negative balance...
(This attitude is bad because if you actually do get rich you will burn through the money just like you do now but faster. It's all you know about money. Better to practice saving money as practice for when you are rich. This is not doubting the dream. It's preparing for it. Categorize it that way.)
2. Insecure about Checks: There are some people who feel the need to pick up checks. (Had to be the big shot. Didja?) This could be in bars or restaurants or whatever. Especially if the check is small these people might feel compelled to be a 'good person' and 'just pick up the check'. Or put their credit card down when everyone is out drinking to be 'cool about it'. Most of the time the person who puts their card down is the broke person. There's a reason for that. You just spent $90 at a bar. And the douche who drank for free knows how to save money.
(It's not bad to pick up a check now and then. But make sure the person or people deserve it. If you're at a bar with a bunch of douches or at lunch with someone undeserving. Just split it or pay your share or whatever. Don't be embarrassed. The person has to deserve it for some reason. Most of the time they don't.)
3. Happy When Stuff Breaks: The broke person gets secretly happy when stuff gets broken. Because that gives them a license to get a new thing! As long as the old thing has been around for a while there's the glimmer of excitement that comes along when something breaks. Broken camera. Broken cellphone. Broken computer. = New Thing! People who know how to save money do not get 'happy' when things break. They get upset about spending money.
(This attitude has to go. Because there's a 50/50 shot the 'new thing' will get on your nerves and you'll miss the old thing and be mad at yourself for being happy about it being broken. Plus, the new thing usually does the same thing as the old thing. Except it's just newer and more flimsy feeling....)
4. Free Money Attitude: Anytime a broke person gets some extra money somehow-- that money is considered 'free' money. Found $40 in your pocket? It's free now! Or you accidentally over pay your credit card by $150. Free negative balance! Immediately buy something worth $150! Zero it out! Got a rebate check? Free! Someone who owed you $50 finally paid up? Free! A work bonus is also registered as 'free money'. Because it's extra. That means you buy an extra cool thing!
(The only 'free money' there is-- is money you find on the street.)
5. Credit Cards Ain't Real Money: People who know how to save money have the ability to think about charging $500 on a credit card in the image of five (5) one hundred dollar bills. Same thing to them. Broke people make no such connection. Somehow credit cards aren't exactly money somehow. Or that aspect is blocked out. That's why most of the time broke people have no real idea how much their monthly bill is--- and it's usually a couple hundred bucks more than they'd guess.
(Pay cash. Pay cash. Pay cash.)
6. Living for Now Now: This is the most respectable of the attitude flaws. Broke people have a lighter attitude toward life. They want to do things when they want to do it. And that time is now! Only live once! Do now! Worry later! Like if broke people have a choice between going on vacation or banking the money for a rainy day. Broke people will always choose vacation. Because instead of staring at a checkbook on a rainy day-- they prefer to lay on the beach and stare at the sun. (Well, maybe not stare at the sun but...)
(I can't argue with this argument because this is my biggest problem. But you gotta keep it in check. If you're paying $12 for a drink to 'celebrate the moment'. You're overstepping the bounds of the Now. You can 'celebrate' with a $5 beer too. Don't be a dick about it. Pick your moments. The moments can't apply to every moment.)
7. Rich Relative Theory: Although it's a low way to go. There's alot of broke people walking around with a rich uncle or something who may or may not leave them a chunk of change when they go. Broke people assume they will and pre-spend money accordingly. This is a dangerous way to go because nobody really knows what kind of money back there and for all you know that money is going to the cat.
(This is case by case. But in all cases... I wouldn't bet on it.)